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Trump's Land Boss to Stay After Democrats Sought His Ouster

FILE - President Donald Trump listens as Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt speaks during an event on the environment in the East Room of the White House in Washington, July 8, 2019.

The U.S. Secretary of Interior has extended the tenure of the Trump administration's top steward of public lands, rebuffing Democrats' calls for his termination.

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt on Monday extended William Perry Pendley's role as Bureau of Land Management Acting Director to Jan. 3.

Pendley has been in the post since July. Senate Democrats, including presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris, had called for Pendley's ouster over his longstanding support for selling public lands.

He previously worked as a property rights attorney with clients including mining, energy and agriculture interests. Earlier this month Pendley recused himself from work involving dozens of former clients following conflict of interest allegations.

Benhardt also extended the tenures of the acting heads of the National Park Service and Fish and Wildlife Service.